And as the sport has evolved and more people are watching it, more and more people are getting ideas of what it is and what it isn’t. Well someone who has been around this sport for awhile I have seen the pendulum swing back and fourth. At first the grappling part of Mixed Martial Arts was really neglected to the point that just being a good grappler was enough to win Mixed Martial Arts matches.
Then everything swung the other way, then you have to be good at other styles of striking like kickboxing, and have a good base in a grappling style.
But now I am seeing a dangerous trend. There are so many Mixed Martial Arts matches to never get to the ground. Fighters are more content to keep things standing up and win by knock out, or by decision. And that is good, but when the new generation of fighters are inspired by what they are seeing in Mixed Martial Arts, they are getting maybe the wrong idea.
When Anderson “The Spider” Silva was knocking people out, a lot of people I was talking to about his style and ability didn’t know he had a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. And when I was with a group of people watching some of his fights, they were so excited when he was taken down, and I would say “just wait and see what happens.” We all know what happened.
Just because you don’t see the grappling moves and submissions don’t mean the fighter isn’t working on that part of his game. And don’t mean he is not proficient in that range of fighting.
I also think having a good Grappling game will help you in your stand up too. I have seen the stand up fighters be so scared of going to the ground that they couldn’t get that 3rd or 4th punch or kick off the finish the fight. They was always having to protect their hips and stay in longer ranges. Sometimes this is a good idea to win a judges decisions, but seldom allows you to finish the match.
Get on the mat, and let’s train.